Andile Jali, a midfielder for Mamelodi Sundowns, has finally spoken out about Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos’ constant dismissive remarks about him.
This season, the 31-year-old has made more than 30 appearances for Masandawana, and his performances look to have reached a new level, prompting co-coach Rulani Mokwena to mention him in the Player of the Season argument.
Broos, on the other hand, believes Jali is too old for his Bafana Bafana overhaul and is seeking for a different style of midfielder.
Jali, who last played for Bafana Bafana in March 2021, has been silent for a long time, but in a rare public interview with Robert Marawa, he finally addressed the issue.
“You see if I was the Andile of 2015 I would answer you in a different way or say something I would regret tomorrow and wake up questioning why I said what I said,” he said on Marawa Sports Worldwide, as translate from Xhosa.
“He says he knows me but he did what he did before he even saw me, but he won’t listen to anyone telling him what to do.
“I’m happy where I am. My coaches are good, they are good, I’m playing well with my teammates, I no longer have as many injuries. I’m really happy where I am and I’m working hard for my team.
“But I’m available all the time.”
Jali also remarked that he is “not at all” bothered by the coach’s continued absence before asserting that he believes he can assist the national team.
“Yes, in a big way, that’s why I told you anytime I’m always available,” he added.
Jali used the comparison of a neighbor who never acknowledges you until you change your mind one day to explain his connection with Broos.
“The coach is like a neighbour that hates you but he doesn’t know why he hates you,” he said.
“Sometimes the neighbour just greets you after a while and you’re shocked at the sudden change after so long. I’m waiting for the neighbour now.
When asked what he would do if the day came when his next-door neighbor [Broos] changed his mind, he stated he would “welcome him back and even invite him out for lunch.”
Broos has refused to comment on Jali’s and teammate Themba Zwane’s omission from the national squad.